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How Do They Acquire My Land?

Compulsory Acquisition: 22 March 2019

All governments have the power to acquire land from land owners for a variety of purposes, but there are steps they must take in all instances.

Generally speaking, a Notice of Intention to Acquire (NOIA) is served first. It is a notice prescribed under the Land Acquisition & Compensation Act (section 6) and it foreshadows that the Acquiring Authority intends to acquire an interest in the land.

Usually this is followed by a Notice of Acquisition (NOA). It is the document prescribed under the Act which takes the acquired property interest from the land owner and vests it in the Acquiring Authority.

Generally, a NOA cannot be served and published until 2 months have passed since the NOIA was served.

A NOA must contain a description sufficient to identify the interest in land to be acquired. Generally speaking, a NOA is accompanied by a Survey Plan showing the area to be affected by the proposed acquisition and a Schedule of Rights and Responsibilities.

Once a NOA has been published in the Government Gazette it must be served on all persons who's interest has been acquired and the ownership of the land vests immediately (that it is, it is transferred to the Acquiring Authority). Accordingly, once the NOA is published the land is owned by the Acquiring Authority.

An Acquiring Authority must not enter into possession of the acquired land before the expiration of 3 months after the date of acquisition. Also, the Acquiring Authority must given seven days notice in writing to the person in occupation of that land of its intention to enter into possession.

If you receive either a NOIA or NOA, our team is able to guide you through the process and usually, at no cost to you (the Authority is usually required to pay the legal and expert costs).

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